Research

Disability innovation is more than a product, service, or policy, it is a way of thinking to address disability challenges by co-designing solutions and sharing knowledge.

GDI Hub is a multi-sector, multi-partner, inter-disciplinary UCL research centre, bringing together diverse and cross-disciplinary expertise to leverage international partnerships for global reach, led by Academic Director Professor Cathy Holloway.
12-step London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model: Graphic text includes the following 12 steps positioned in a square shape around the GDI Hub logo. 1. community leaders articulation of needs and priorities, 2. P/political leadership, 3. Clear mission and joint objective setting, 4. Time limited action, 5. Governance by disabled people and community leaders, 6. Diverse partnerships where everyone can drive change, 7. Expert technical assistance and mainstreamed training, 8. Resources, resourcefulness and tools, 9. Inclusive innovation encouraged, 10. Good enough data, scrutiny and progress management, 11. Culture of excellence (beyond contractual compliance) & consequences of failure (to try), 12. Reflection and recognition of success
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United Kingdom

“This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)”.

“This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)”. Critical Junctures in Paralympic Legacy: Framing the London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model for New Global Challenges.

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Sarah Anton and Shadrek Ndlovu smiling and weaving on a loom
Malawi | South Africa | United Kingdom | Botswana

Inclusive arts and crafts design: empowering people with disability to contribute to their community in Southern Africa

The aim of the network proposal was to raise awareness within the communities of Southern Africa of the value of their cultural heritage and provide insights into how these may be expressed through inclusive crafts, leading to sustainable economic development.

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An image of a dancer, who is holding a position across a white background, with colour triangles decoratively placed around the figure. Text reads Disability Innovation isn't just science, it's art too
United Kingdom

Calling all Disabled Peoples Organisations for an exciting new arts project: ACTOR

Arts Collaboration Opportunities in Teaching and Research (ACTOR). ACTOR adopts an approach that brings play, exploration, and creativity together, using workshops and other interactive designs to engage and share and communicate experiences.

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A blind individual touching the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park tactile map
United Kingdom

PhD Research: Designing technologies to support open space leisure experiences of blind and partially sighted people

There is huge potential for mobile technology to improve blind and partially sighted people's experience of parks and open spaces and enable them to share these experiences with others. We are creating an accessible crowdsourced mapping system for BPSP to contribute their experience of visiting a park or open space and share these experiences in the forms of textual information, photos, sound bites, and videos to enable other people to enjoy these experiences anywhere in the world.

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Render of Tacilia, which is a voice controlled interactive tactile display composed of reconfigurable pins which can present multiple lines of braille and tactile images.
India | United Kingdom

Tacilia – A Voice Controlled Tactile User Interface for Blind and Partially Sighted Learners

Tacilia is a Voice Controlled Tactile User Interface for Blind Learners which is based on a novel shape changing material technology and an advanced speech recognition AI.

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United Kingdom

PhD Research: Technology Supported Capturing and Sharing of Multifaceted Running Experience

Running is not only about distance or speed but more a dynamic experiential journey in which emotions and subjective feelings play vital roles in constructing the runners’ experience. This research investigates how technology could support runners with the capturing and sharing of such experiential aspects of running experience beyond the running performance that current mainstream technologies provide.

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United Kingdom

Smart Prosthetic Liners

This current work looks to develop these capabilities in soft material technology, with: the development of a printable nanocomposite stretch sensor system; a low-cost digital method for casting bespoke prosthetic liners; a liner with an embedded stretch sensor for growth / volume tracking; a model liner with an embedded active cooling system.

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United Kingdom

Mapping Multisensory Experiences at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were hosted at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) with the view of creating a dynamic new heart of east London. The park was designed to continue the legacy of the Paralympic Games and to create a diverse and inclusive space for all.

Our project contributes to this vision by (i) engaging the disabled community of east London in a conversation about their experiences and perceptions of the QEOP and then (ii) co-creating a multisensory representation of the experience of blind people as a reminder of diversity and inclusion at the park.

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United Kingdom

PhD Research: Make It Visible - using 3D imaging and printing from microscopic

PhD student Kate Burton​ is conducting research on using 3D imaging and printing from microscopic images to provide tactile representations for visually impaired people. The aim is to take the world seen through a microscope and make it accessible to those with visual impairments​ using tactile 3D printed models​.

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India | United Kingdom

PhD Research: Erasable Tactile Doodling - Toodleoo

Designing a new way to produce erasable tactile drawings and graphics to present visualisations to blind and partially sighted students and professionals. The project uses smart materials and research on ways to make them operational. The final output will be particularly useful to understand STEM subjects and to express and communicate ideas and creativity.

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A computer-generated frame model of a right arm with thumb, index and second fingers extended. Multi-coloured triangles surround the design.
United Kingdom

Body 2.0 - Extending ability through 3D printing technology

This project looked at identity and the changing perception of disabled people and disability. The primary focus was prosthetics and the use of new technologies including 3D printing to democratise prosthetics and allow individuals to customise their assistive devices in a timely and affordable way.

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A computer generated 3D model of a wheelchair on a blue chequered background.
United Kingdom

Power-up! - Fuelling the next generation of assistive technologies

A research project to understand how and when manual wheelchair users need and use power assistance and to determine if fuel cell technology is suitable for the power requirements of assistive technology, specifically wheelchairs.

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United Kingdom

CROWDBOT: A crowd-aware shared-control wheelchair navigation system

CROWDBOT will enable mobile robots to navigate autonomously and assist humans in crowded areas, rather than simply stopping when the going gets tough.

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Logo of the title of the project: fit for purpose prosthetics. For is represented by the number four which in the center has a hand with half an arm that appear to be a prosthetic.
Jordan | Uganda | United Kingdom

Fit-for-purpose, affordable body-powered prostheses

Fit-for-purpose, affordable body-powered prostheses is designing upper limb prostheses that are both low cost and fit for their purpose and circumstance. The project is funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Challenges Research Fund.

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An image of the Brain.
United Kingdom

Artificial Intelligence for Mental Wellbeing Monitoring

The aim of this project to build new low-cost approaches to more reliable mental wellbeing measurements using mobile sensing technology, supporting unconstrained and potentially a variety of everyday situations.

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Sculpture of a giant character on top of a space hopper with wheelchair users interacting with the sculpture via their mobile phone
United Kingdom

Disability Interactions in Digital Games: Workshop at CHI Play 2019

We are very keen to have a mixture of academic and non-academic papers at this workshop therefore, we would like to invite additional contributions in the format of a social paper OR a standard 4-page CHI extended abstract. Social papers are maximum one page in length and act as a CV for networking. These can be submitted by anyone interested in the area of accessibility and gaming. We have extended the deadline to the 1st of October.

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A female wheelchair user in dark clothes and beanie hat ascending a ramp from right to left in a sports hall.
United Kingdom

ARCCS - Accessible Routes from Crowdsourced Cloud Services

Ongoing research where we have developed a new technique for wheelchair localisation and surface determination using a fusion of GPS/IMU information and machine learning. Data captured helps wheelchair users travel in a more effective ways and share data to demonstrate accessibility issues and encourage improvements.

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A picture of a computer model of a dynamic seat for children with severe movement disorders
United Kingdom

Dynamic seating for children with severe movement disorders

GDI Hub is working with Designability to evaluate a new kind of seat that moves with the child and enables them to explore movement while they are seated and well supported

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